You will either agree or be outraged. Lewis Hamilton walked into the paddock this morning to be greeted by the news that Robert Kubica had been slagging him off for dangerous driving. Or, at least, that was the interpretation adopted by a couple of British national newspapers.
Had the journalists in question actually spoken to Kubica? Er, no. Kubica’s quotes had been taken from an interview in a German publication.
Kubica had been talking about Hamilton’s driving at Monza, particularly the moment when he forced Timo Glock onto the grass as the McLaren driver attempted to come through from 15th on the grid.
Right enough, it was what might best be described as a ‘forceful’ piece of driving. But the context of the quote was not made clear, mainly because the British writers did not know.
It could have been an idle comment at the end of an interview about Fernando Alonso going to BMW (as was mooted until Kubica and Nick Heidfeld were re-signed) and led to discussion about Alonso’s relationship with Hamilton.
Or it could have been a rant by the Pole, although on the evidence of interviews done with Robert, I’d say that is not his style.
Naturally, the British writers had gone to Hamilton, not to stir things up (it says here), but to get his response. Hamilton said Kubica was entitled to his opinion but he, Hamilton, would do his talking on the track and that, in his view, he was not over-aggressive.
Reaction in the paddock has been split, as it was when David Croft and I covered morning practice on BBC Radio 5 Live. It may have been 3am in the UK but we received more than 40 text messages, most of them on the subject of Hamilton.
Some felt being aggressive should be in the make-up of any champion. Others said he was arrogant and cocky and needed taking down a peg or two.
Either way, I’m not sure this is the sort of conversation we should be having at such an interesting and crucial stage of the championship.
Hamilton did indeed do his talking on the track today by taking what Ron Dennis considers to be the best pole position of his career. A slight exaggeration, perhaps. But better than the hype generated by journalists looking for a story on Friday when not a lot had happened on the track.